Posted on January 20, 2021
How to Make a Company Health and Safety Compliant
Business professionals have studied the factors that improve the productivity and welfare of a business. One of the most critical observations is that the safety of the employees plays a critical role in enhancing the performance of the business. As a business owner, you have the responsibility to ensure that your employees are safe. This will benefit you too due to the various advantages that come with safety measures. Similarly, as an employee, you should know that the government has protected you, in terms of safety.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is a regulatory agency under the US Department of Labor. The act was signed into law in 1970 by Richard Nixon. One of the main mandates of the law is that authorities can come to a workplace and inspect if the workplace environment is safe for the employees. The law was one of the efforts, among others, that ensured that the employees in the US are going to be working in a safe environment.
This article will discuss the importance of OSHA to both the business owner and the employees, and how to make a company health and safety compliant.
The importance of OSHA to a Business Owner
There are several reasons why OSHA is important in the American workplace. To start with, one of the most important and reliable ways of improving the productivity of the employees is giving them assurance that they are safe. This gives them a piece of mind any time they are in your premises. When the employees feel comfortable at your workplace, they are not going to have high levels of stress which could affect them in their work.
The modern job seekers are more aware of their rights and are more conscious of the choices that they make. For example, a significant number of job seekers look for long-term solutions when they are making career decisions. If your workplace is not safe through following OSHA recommendations, you are not going to attract strong talent. In addition to that, you might find yourself in a situation where you are going to have a high employee turnover, and this is going to affect the credibility and performance of your business.
Therefore, it is better if you thought about how best you can attract and retain talent. Making such a decision is going to set you apart from the peers, and you will have a competitive edge when it comes to attracting employees. Again, when you lose talent, you will find that it will be more expensive for you in the end.
If you do not implement OSHA regulations related to safety and health, an employee could file a complaint or take you to court. This can be a long, expensive, and demanding process. Such a process could drain your ability to focus on the core mandate of the business due to the attention such cases need.
The safety requirements of your business are a matter of public relations. Clients want to do business with people who are sensitive to the needs of their employees. In the modern environment, clients want to know a number of things including the following:
-How safe are your employees
-Are you sensitive to the needs of the employees?
-Do you source goods from countries that abuse human right?
-Are your activities promoting abuse of human rights
-Are you environmentally sensitive?
-Do you make your employees comfortable, though the right compensation for instance
Having stated that, if the clients know that your business has a good safety record, they will be more comfortable supporting your business. It is such clients who are going to support your business in time of need, and to offer you referrals.
Importance of OSHA to Employees
When employees feel realize that its workplace respects the OSHA principles, then such employees are confident when they are running the day to day activities. Therefore, the employees will be in a position to concentrate at the task and hand, and in the end, the business is going to realize optimal productivity.
Whereas employees working in the private sector earn higher, they face numerous challenges such as low job security. OSHA comes in handy in protecting the employees in the private sector because they can be vulnerable to human rights violations such as dismissal from work without in-depth investigation.
There is a strong correlation between the workplace and health. For example, a farm employee who spends the entire year spraying could face chest and breathing problems later in life. Therefore, work should not be an excuse to poor health. If you work in a workplace setting that follows OSHA, then such prevention strategies are already taken care of. Some of the professions are known to be notorious in hazard issues that some employees avoid them altogether.
By working in a workplace that is approved by OSHA, the probability of a workplace injury is reduced. One of the most frustrating things is a situation where an employee faces a workplace injury. Workplace injuries can lead to incapacitation and possible death, thereby making having a long-term effect on the employee.
How to Make a Company Health and Safety Compliant
Rolling out an effective and compliant health and safety program that is going to be accepted by training OSHA is a big undertaking. The process can be intimidating at the beginning and could seem a lofty goal. However, as you work on the process, you are going to realize that the process is manageable in the long-run, and all you need is to have the determination to follow the process to the latter.
Prior to start an in-depth discussion of the process, you need to evaluate if you need a workplace safety program, and the scope. Whereas having one is not mandatory, it is recommendable that you have one. This is good for you and for your employees too. Again, the insurance companies will feel safer working with you when they know that you are keen to employ the right safety measures. They do know that such measures are good for their business as they will lead to less claims.
However, there are some industries which are perceived to need OSHA and work safety programs more. This is due to the possible exposure to hazards. Such industries include the following: the manufacturing industry, the construction industry, the health services, and the warehouse and distribution services.
The construction industries are one of the most hazardous professions in the US. Due to limited space in the US, the preference is to go for high rise building which is going to last for many years. Unfortunately, the construction of high rise buildings comes with a lot of cost, more so, on the compromise of the safety of the employees, and sometimes, death of a worker.
Similarly, the health profession is a high risk profession. For instance, the nurses, in the process of treatment can be vulnerable to germs, other types of infections, and diseases. Florence Nightingale environed this hard setting and wrote Note of Nursing. Today, if your business is related to health, whether directly or indirectly, then it is time that you rolled out an effective work safety program.
Having stated that, you need to have step by step procedures on how you can make a company healthy and compliant. To start with, carry out a comprehensive risk assessment of your business. This may be a requirement of the law, or it could be a matter of discretion. When you carry out a comprehensive risk assessment, then, you will find that you will be in a position to understand the inherent and structural weaknesses that could affect your business. At the same time, you are going to carry out a rough estimate of the budget that you need for the safety program.
You need to create a plan which outlines the methodology of health and safety at your workplace. The bigger the planned expectation, the more detailed the health and compliance document is going to be.
You need to invest in safe facilities for all employees. For example, you can have a workplace canteen where your employees are going to eat and rest. In addition to that, there ought to be an effective ventilation system that serves your workplace.
As a responsible employer, you ought to think about the value that insurance brings to the workplace. Employees feel safer and better when they know that they are going to be compensated in the case that something happens to them. At the same time, insurance protects the employees from medical bills which can cripple the financial ability of an individual.
You need to invest in the right first aid equipment for your business. Basic first aid equipment is not expensive and it goes a long way in ensuring that there is no loss of lives at the workplace, and no injuries. Basically, a first aid kit should contain the following at the minimum:
-A well-stocked first aid box
-A designated person who is going to be in charge of the first aid
As a business owner, encourage your employees to appreciate the importance that comes with the first aid. As a matter of fact, every employee should be conversant with basic training as far as the use of first aid is concerned.
You need to understand that you cannot roll out an effective safety program for your workplace without a thorough consultation with the employees. The employees are the backbone of an institution. Therefore, you cannot go far without seeking legitimacy and converting them to your objective. Generally, employees are not going to have any problem in buying your ideas and supporting you. After all, you are doing this in order to support them in both the short term and the long run.
Again, you are not going to roll out an effective safety program on your own. Instead, think about how you can do some things and delegate other duties and responsibilities. When you delegate a certain project to others, they own up the project, and can easily support your initiatives. Again, owning up the project brings a sense of continuity.
Compliance Assistant Specialist
As you can imagine, the process of compliance to OSHA can be long and complicated. In that case, then, the best thing is to seek the help of a professional. When you are seeking help, be sure to pick someone who has accumulated vast experience in the safety and compliance industry. The assumption here is that through such an effort, you are going to benefit from vast experience that the professional offers.
In the field of business, you should ensure that you stick to the budget in order to tame the business expenses. Straining your business with unmanageable expenses will not work for you in the long run, and could be counter-productive to the business.
At the same time, you need to be pro-active when it comes to the issue of safety programs. For example, you can attend various seminars and programs that deal with safety programs. Attending such courses, conferences, and workshops, will enable you to stand out among the others.
Health and safety protocols might seem expensive and complicated, but the rewards of doing the same are fulfilling and they will lead to managing the cost of business. In addition to that, you are going to avoid ugly situations such as being taken to a court of law. It is important that you renew your commitment to health and safety protocols due to the advantages that they bring in both the short term and the long run.
The OSHA principles and the process is not cast in stone, things keep on changing. Therefore, you should strive to be updated on the latest dynamics shaping OSHA, and evaluate how such dynamics are going to affect you. Remember, you owe the employees, the customers, and the general public to keep them out of harm’s way. Overall, the significance of OSHA in the workplace cannot be under-estimated.